Gran Premio Red Bull de España, Jerez – Raceday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took an impervious victory in his home Gran Premio Red Bull de España, storming away from his first pole position since Sepang 2015 and never looking back. The MotoGP™ race in Jerez was race number 3000 in the World Championship. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) made inroads in the points battle in second, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), sharing the podium with Pedrosa to keep the parity at 146 rostrum finishes apiece.
Pedrosa got the holeshot from a great start off pole position, with Marquez slotting in behind. LCR Honda rider Crutchlow was initially ahead of that battle behind – with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) warring Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) once again until the flying Frenchman set off on a charge, taking bike after bike in now-signature style.
Arriving behind reigning Champion Marquez into third, the rookie held station for a lap as Lorenzo fought back in a tight midfield, getting past Rossi and then Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Zarco then took Marquez, heading off after Pedrosa in the lead until the reigning Champion hit back.
Drama struck further back as Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) and Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) collided and slid out, before Cal Crutchlow then lowsided into the gravel– followed shortly by the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine of Pol Espargaro. After a short tousle with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also tumbled out with 17 laps to go.
Marquez was unable to make any real impression on Pedrosa’s lead, with the three-time World Champion pulling the pin in the final laps to cross for another stunning win – making it 16 years in a row the Spaniard has taken at least one victory in the World Championship.
Lorenzo had an incredible race for a first podium with Ducati, moving past Zarco after a positive weekend. Zarco took fourth in another scintillating performance for the reigning Moto2™ World Champion, ahead of an impressive fight back for Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to get past Viñales after the Spaniard made a mistake.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) stormed back through from P13 on the grid to follow Viñales over the line, with Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) solid once again in the top ten to take eighth.
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was another who moved through the field, incredibly taking Championship leader Valentino Rossi for ninth. The ‘Doctor’ found his pace in freefall in the latter laps of the race, struggling with tyre life in the hot temperatures to complete the top ten – but retaining the Championship lead.
Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) took P11, ahead of Hector Barbera and teammate Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing). Bradley Smith took more points for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in P14 after an awesome show for the Austrian factory in Jerez, with Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) locking out the top fifteen.
After Pedrosa’s stunning domination on home turf, the Championship is game on in Le Mans with Rossi now two points clear of Viñales, Marquez just behind and Pedrosa now fourth in the standings – only ten points back.
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) took a stunning maiden Moto2™ win at the Spanish GP, crossing the line three and a half seconds clear of Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46). The rider from Cervera was back on the top step for the first time since the Moto3™ race in Motegi in 2014, the year he took the lightweight class crown. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took another podium for KTM in third, as Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) slid out of contention early on.
Marquez took the lead out of Turn 1, with Morbidelli taking the apex first and then running a little wide – but it was an EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1-2 streaking away at the front as Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing), Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) squabbled for third – with Bagnaia then getting up into the fight.
There was drama soon after as Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) slid out, taking Vierge and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) out of contention. That incident left Pasini and Bagnaia fighting for third, ahead of Aegerter, Oliveira, Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team), Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten).
Back at the front, a small mistake from Marquez let Morbidelli through with 18 laps to go – before drama suddenly hit as the Championship leader slid out and Marquez found himself four and a half seconds ahead of Bagnaia. Keeping it calm the 2014 Moto3™ World Champion crossed the line in clear air to take his maiden Moto2™ win – and in front of the home crowd.
Bagnaia moved through to secure a stunning rookie podium, with Oliveira then hunting down Pasini to take third. Veteran Italian Pasini crossed the line in fourth, ahead of Marini and Schrötter.
Dominique Aegerter followed up his top five in Texas with a seventh in Jerez, ahead of a good day in the points standings for Lüthi as the 2016 runner up came home eighth to cut some of the gap to Championship leader Franco Morbidelli.
Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) just lost ninth on the final lap to an impressive race from Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team), as the Colombian took a good points finish in the fourth race of the year.
Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) took his first ever Grand Prix win in his home Gran Premio Red Bull de España, with everything coming down to a three-rider battle in the final corner against Texas winner Romano Fenati (Marinello Rivacold Snipers) and Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing). Canet’s move saw him go third to first in the “Jorge Lorenzo” corner on the final lap, holding onto it over the line in a tight win by only 0.031.
It was a classic Moto3™ contest, with a long lead group fighting it out from lights out. Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) got a great start from pole, before the early laps of the race saw the Platinum Bay Real Estate team of Marcos Ramirez and Darryn Binder heading the battle at the front.
Pushing hard, the battle sadly ended early for Darryn Binder. Teammate Ramirez stayed in contention for the podium until the final few corners and crossed the line for an impressive fourth – a best ever for the rider.
After the first tousles at the front, an initial top group of twelve had become 10 – with the quartet of Fenati, Mir, Canet and Ramirez keeping a small gap back to a chasing group of Del Conca Gresini Moto3’s Fabio Di Giannantonio, Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) and Sky Racing Team VR46 duo Andrea Migno and Nicolo Bulega.
By the flag it was ‘Diggia’ who finished fifth, ahead of Migno and an incredibly tight finish between Bulega and Bastianini. Jorge Martin crossed the line in ninth, with Guevara completing the top ten.
Source: Nick Harris Communications